White House Proposes Cutting ONDCP Funding

function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('White House Proposes Cutting ONDCP Funding');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

  White House Proposes Cutting ONDCP Funding

Posted by CN Staff on May 06, 2017 at 08:07:00 PT
By Alan Rappeport 
Source: New York Times 

Washington, D.C. -- When he was running for office, Donald J. Trump promised to rid America of the scourge of drugs, vowing to crack down on dealers and invest heavily in programs to get heroin and other opioids off the streets.But on Friday, President Trump’s administration revealed plans to gut the 2018 budget of his Office of National Drug Control Policy. According to an Office of Management and Budget document obtained by The New York Times, the White House is proposing to slash the drug policy office budget by about 95 percent, to just $24 million from $388 million.
The cuts would mean the office could lose up to 33 employees. The budget would also eliminate grant programs it administers, including the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program and the Drug-Free Communities Support Program. According to the document, the Trump administration thinks the programs are duplicative of other federal and state initiatives.The proposal was rebuked by Republicans and Democrats as a potentially reckless move. Rich Baum, the acting drug czar appointed by Mr. Trump, expressed anguish about the cuts in an email sent to the office’s staff on Friday.“These drastic proposed cuts are frankly heartbreaking and, if carried out, would cause us to lose many good people who contribute greatly to O.N.D.C.P.’s mission and core activities,” Mr. Baum wrote. “I don’t want to see this happen.”The White House maintains that Mr. Trump’s commitment to defeating the opioid epidemic will be addressed in his 2018 budget request and that a bevy of federal programs already exist to fight the war on drugs. The administration envisions a streamlined O.N.D.C.P. coordinating drug policy in a fashion similar to how the National Economic Council coordinates economic policy, helping to craft it without making grants. But critics say the cuts would weaken a centralized office key to battling drugs.Mr. Trump has so far struggled to get his spending priorities pushed through Congress. Republicans are also under fire from those who claim that the health care legislation passed by the House of Representatives this week would reduce mental health and drug addition coverage offered through insurance plans if it became law.The cuts also seemed at odds with Mr. Trump’s stated views on drug addiction. In March, the White House announced plans to set up a commission to address the country’s opioid crisis. At the time, Mr. Trump said, “This is a total epidemic and I think it’s probably, almost un-talked about compared to the severity that we’re witnessing.”As a candidate, Mr. Trump talked regularly about the country’s drug addiction problem and said drugs were a reason that a wall was needed along the border with Mexico.“We’re going to take all of these kids — and people, not just kids — that are totally addicted and they can’t break it,” Mr. Trump said at an event in Ohio last year. “We’re going to work with them, we’re going to spend the money, we’re going to get that habit broken.”The Trump administration released a “skinny budget” in March that asked for deep cuts to domestic programs in exchange for a big increase in military spending, but did not detail the plans for the White House’s drug office. A more comprehensive budget will be released this month.John Czwartacki, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement that the budget was still under review. “Reports that suggest budgetary numbers or policy decisions are premature and subject to change before the late May publication of the budget,” he said.Some advocacy organizations, such as the Drug Policy Alliance, were cautiously optimistic that changes to the O.N.D.C.P. could be helpful. The drug epidemic has worsened in recent years under its watch and there is concern that the Trump administration would use a powerful drug czar to aggressively treat drug abuse as a criminal justice issue rather than as a public health problem.“The reality is that O.N.D.C.P. is an agency in dire need of reform,” said Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, who said that the grant programs being cut “are a phenomenal waste of money that contribute to the incarceration and stigmatization of drug users.”Groups that are dedicated to combating substance abuse were worried on Friday and a coalition of them scrambled to draft a letter to the White House condemning the cuts.Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, who advised three former presidents on drug policy and organized the letter, said he was stumped by Mr. Trump’s decision to make cuts to his drug office. “It felt like a sucker punch in the face,” Mr. Sabet said after word trickled out about the cuts. “This is a time when we have one of the largest opioid epidemics in history and the rise of a new industry of people selling pot candy to kids.”Democrats pounced on the proposed cuts as a significant broken promise by the president.“This is a cruel betrayal by Trump,” said Daniel Wessel, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee. “Throughout the campaign, Trump promised communities ravaged by opioid addiction that he would come to their aid. That was a lie.”Some Republicans were also unhappy, arguing that Mr. Trump was underestimating the importance of the drug czar’s work. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said that the antidrug programs that the Trump administration wants to eliminate have had a profoundly positive impact in his state.“We have a heroin and prescription drug crisis in this country and we should be supporting efforts to reverse this tide, not proposing drastic cuts to those who serve on the front lines of this epidemic,” Mr. Portman said.A version of this article appears in print on May 6, 2017, on Page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: After Vowing to Curb Drug Use, Trump Seeks to Slash Drug Control Funds.Source: New York Times (NY) Author: Alan RappeportPublished: May 5, 2017Copyright: 2017 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  Justice Archives

Home    Comment    Email    Register    Recent Comments    Help    


Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on May 07, 2017 at 09:17:43 PT

propaganada agency
>>The reality is that O.N.D.C.P. is an agency in dire need of reform, said Grant Smith, of DPAWrong! The ONDCP is in need of abolishment. Did the SS Gestapo need "reform"????"To be always ready, a man must be able to cut a knot, for not 
everything can be untied."-Henri Frederic Amiel

[ Post Comment ]


Comment #4 posted by elliott on May 07, 2017 at 08:27:54 PT:

we don't need ondcp they haven't helped
the only smart approach cannabis is to really legalize it without penalties it is a herb that cures cancer it is illegal only cause it takes money away from the medical industrial complex.the poison that they give you with cancer is totally unnecessary and kills many from the treatment.if the govt didn't have the studies already done to show it cures cancer they are right but they are not . they are talking out of both sides of their mouth saying there is no medical treatment for cannabis but having the studies showing it does. what is wrong with our govt. this is a prime example
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 06, 2017 at 14:26:20 PT

I honestly think Trump has no concept of what he is doing. He switches views in one day and even in hours. I still can't believe anyone would have voted for him.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #2 posted by Hope on May 06, 2017 at 10:48:21 PT

And this... what does this mean?
Trump Spurns Congress as He Signals Medical Marijuana Fight In the signing statement, Trump singled out a provision in the spending bill that says funds cannot be used to block states from implementing medical marijuana laws.“I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” he said.

[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by Hope on May 06, 2017 at 10:37:33 PT

I want to shout "Hallelujah!'...
Yet, I'm afraid that might be premature. I wonder if this can happen? So many in high places squalling for what they thought for sure was their designated piece of the pig. I've been reading about wolves this morning... so it's easy to see these guys as wolves clamped down and holding on to what they see as their share of the life blood of the government... our tax money.The opponents of cutting ONDCP's budget haven't figured out that the "Opioid crisis" they keep referring to actually was bred and born while the ONDCP had a huge budget! So why do they believe they can help matters when they haven't helped matters at all when they had the money they are going to fight tooth and toenail to hang on to?Hmmm?I am so sick of all the lies and crap that spew from these what amount to nothing more than dangerous "Court dandies" that call them selves "Drug experts". What they are is extremely oppressive, after a fashion, court dandies being given too much money and too much power over too many people.It freaks me that Kevin Sabet actually believes the things he says for publication. He knows the only "Kids" that we want cannabis to be available for are the sick kids that it can help. Does he not know that? Of course he does! I used to think the man was just misled... now I see he is purposely lying in order to further his nasty political agenda.
[ Post Comment ]

  Post Comment